Saturday, January 01, 2011

Plans for the new year

As the sun goes down on 1 January 2011 in our part of the world, others have just seen the New Year in.

I have noticed from the statistics function on this blog that a large number of the visitors to this blog are in the United States. G'day, folks! I am delighted to have you visit. I have wonderful memories of five winters in Michigan, and have attached a family pic, with me holding our first baby, that takes us back 37 years.
New Year 1974, at our home in Biscayne Way, Haslett Michigan

Twelve months ago, I and other Australian midwives were wondering if we would be able to practise legally, after 1 November. We are practising, and intend to continue. I won't say without change - anyone who is so set in their ways that they are not willing to change should not be practising. We must continue to change and grow in our understanding of birthing processes, while we adapt and work within the limitations of our own lives (such as ageing), and the law.

The big challenge as far as Australian midwifery practice is concerned is to be able to comply with regulations around what is called collaboration, in order to access public funding rebates through Medicare for our clients for prenatal and postnatal care. Home birth does not attract any rebate. I am waiting while my application for notation as eligible for Medicare is being processed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board. There are just a few midwives so far who have successfully negotiated this pathway.

A new pathway which will potentially be available to midwives is the opportunity to attend births in public hospitals, with visiting access.

My calendar for 2011 has women's names noted as bookings for the coming six months, and others who are yet to confirm their plans. I am looking forward to each of these opportunities to be 'with woman', and I pray that I will have strength, wisdom, and courage to meet each situation.

There is now potential for many more midwives to step out of employed roles, and take up private practice caseloads of their own.

Dear reader, if you are a midwife anywhere in Australia who is interested in working this way, and would like to talk about progressing towards that goal, I would love to talk with you. I am able to make a commitment to a limited number of midwives in a mentoring capacity, and I may be able to provide business support with financial services, including arrangements for invoicing, and payment of Superannuation and tax, to support your practice. You will find the email and telephone contact numbers on the blog, or send me a message via the comments function and I will contact you.

Wishing you happiness and blessing in 2011, so that you in turn can bless others
Joy Johnston

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